A significant benefit of the Affordable Care Act is the opportunity to receive money-saving tax credits up front to cut the overall cost of health insurance, but now hundreds of thousands of consumers could owe back some of that money next April.
This Aug. 21, 2014, photo shows health care tax forms 8962 and1095-A, in Washington. Who thinks about taxes around Labor Day? If you value your tax refund and you’re one of millions getting a health insurance tax credit under President Barack Obama’s health care law, it’s not too early. If you worked a lot of overtime, or maybe your spouse got a higher-paying job, arcane connections between the health law and taxes can reduce or even eliminate your refund. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)
Telemedicine could potentially deliver more than $6 billion a year in health care savings to U.S. companies, but only if the technology is widely-adopted.
According to analysis by global professional services company Towers Watson, achieving this level of savings would require all employees and their dependents to use the technology-enabled interactions available today in place of face-to-face visits to the doctor, urgent care center or emergency room for appropriate medical problems.
The Affordable Care Act—also known as Obamacare—is "not an affordable product" for many people and it does not fix the underlying problems causing high health-care costs, Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC on Wednesday.
"If we're going to fix health care, we've got to get at the delivery of care and the cost of care," Bertolini said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "The ACA does none of that. The only person who's really going to drive that is the consumer and the decisions they make."
(Editor’s note: Map updated to show correct grades.)
A group that gave a little more than half the U.S. a failing grade last year when it came to price transparency in health care now says virtually every state is flunking.
The Catalyst for Payment Reform and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute are giving 45 states an “F” when it comes to monitoring health provider pricing, up sharply from the 29 states that flunked the organizations’ test in March 2013.
(Here’s the grades given by the two groups on state health price transparency for 2014….)
No states received an “A,” unlike last year, when New Hampshire and Massachusetts were at the top of the class. In fact, the groups gave New Hampshire an “F” this year for letting its website that offers details on pricing become inoperative. Massachusetts received a “B,” along with Maine.
Maine was one of the few states that maintained its grade from 2013, not including the states that flunked last year as well. Colorado, Vermont and Virginia were the only states to receive a “C” grade. Vermont maintained its status, while Colorado and Virginia slipped from “B” grades a year ago.
COBRA Enrollees Have 60 Days to Switch to an Exchange Plan; Move Is Expected to Save California Consumers Money on Health Insurance
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Beginning Thursday, May 15, Covered California will launch a limited-time special-enrollment period for people who have COBRA health insurance and would like to switch to an exchange plan.
People who have health coverage through COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) will be eligible to shop for and buy coverage through Covered California from May 15 through July 15, 2014. The two-month window mirrors a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ruling announced May 2 that allows COBRA enrollees to buy plans through the federal exchange until July 1.
BY CARLA K. JOHNSON
AP MEDICAL WRITER
CHICAGO (AP) -- For uninsured people, the nation's new health care law may offer an escape from worry about unexpected, astronomical medical bills. But for Stephanie Payne of St. Louis, who already had good insurance, the law could offer another kind of escape: the chance to quit her job.
At 62, Payne has worked for three decades as a nurse, most recently traveling house to house caring for 30 elderly and disabled patients. But she's ready to leave that behind, including the job-based health benefits, to move to Oregon and promote her self-published book. She envisions herself blogging, doing radio interviews and speaking to seniors groups.
NEW YORK (MainStreet) — More than half of Americans (55%) still do not know the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is March 31, according to a new Bankrate.com report.
The survey found that 24% incorrectly think the deadline already passed on Jan. 1 while 11% wrongly think they have until December 31, 2014 to sign up, a full nine months after the March 31, 2014 deadline.
Many Americans are not taking the deadline to sign up for Obamacare seriously. More than three in five (62%) of Americans think the government will push the deadline back to a later date.
By Michelle Andrews
JAN 21, 2014
Here is a new issue I've discovered: if you are having diagnostic services performed at a hospital, you may be charged a 'facility fee' in addition to the diagnostic service fee. This facility fee can be as high as $1,000 on top of a simple test that might only cost $200-300 by itself. Your insurance plan may not discount this fee very much. A solution to this is to look for an independent imaging center or laboratory and ask them what they would charge for your particular procedure. You will need a CPT code from your doctor so they can look up the price.
Q: If my family of six qualifies for Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act, do we have to sign up for that? Or can we still buy subsidized health care plans through Covered California? … I have real concerns about the quality of care we would get on Medi-Cal. I’m hoping for a positive answer!
A: Sadly, I’m about to disappoint Beth from Modesto and others in her situation.
Medi-Cal is the state’s publicly funded health program for low-income and disabled residents, and currently provides care to more than 8 million Californians. (It is the state’s version of the federal Medicaid program.)
Starting in January, Medi-Cal will broaden its eligibility requirements as a result of Obamacare, allowing applicants with higher incomes and those who were previously ineligible, such as childless adults, to get coverage.
But whether you’re eligible for Medi-Cal now or become eligible then, that fact alone disqualifies you from tax subsidies on the health insurance marketplace, which is called Covered California.
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